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Sorare – how does the NFT fantasy football game work?

In the fantasy football game Sorare, players collect and trade digital trading cards that depict real footballers. The cards are not simply digital images, but NFTs on the blockchain. We explain the background.

Sorare is a blockchain-based fantasy football game that is also popular in the UK and the US. Fantasy sports games have long been a popular pastime, especially in the US and Canada. According to the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association, nearly 60 million US Americans and Canadians participated in this pastime in 2017. In the process, “managers” put together teams of different players from different clubs and teams.

The performance of the real team decides

Important to understand: The performance of the real players on the soccer field decides the performance of the team. So if the men on the pitch win, the team also moves forward in the blockchain game Sorare. Knowledge about the sport as well as luck are necessary to win. In addition to regular matches, there are various leagues and tournaments.

How does the NFT game Sorare work?

The NFT game Sorare is really shaking up the market. As a fantasy sports game, it is simultaneously based on the Ethereum platform. According to VentureBeat, the game currently boasts more than 6,000 registered users. Here’s how it works:

  • Players use NFTs in the form of digital trading cards that represent real-life footballers.
  • With the help of these cards, they put together individual teams. The team affiliation plays no role for the real athletes.
  • The performance of the cards corresponds to the performance of the real players playing their games at the same time.
  • NFT integration ensures that cards are limited to certain quantities and ownership rights are clearly regulated.

Compete in tournaments

Human managers can have their teams compete against each other in tournaments. The NFTs in card form can also simply be collected. An integrated marketplace is available for trading. Here, managers can trade, buy and sell the digital cards. Sorare thus stays true to the “play to earn” principle that other games already follow – see the Axie Infinity tutorial or The Sandbox instructions. Trading and trading can possibly be worthwhile, but it is not necessary. Furthermore, there is the possibility to win higher-value cards in tournaments.

The different cards of Sorare

The cards are divided according to their rarity. The rarer the cards, the more valuable they are and the better they affect the chances of winning. There can be several cards of a footballer with different rarity. A so-called “Common Cristiano Ronaldo” is worth much less than a “Unique Ronaldo”, even if it is the same professional athlete.

Division A
100 / season
Super rare
10 / season
Division 1 – 3
1 / season
highest level
1.111 / player
Source: Token InfoPort
Football fan with NFT coin
Collecting and trading NFTs is possible virtually at Sorare.

With each game the experience increases

The division into different “devisions” serves fairness. This allows newcomers to try their hand without being dominated by managers with higher-value cards. The NFTs can do even more: With every game their experience increases, their skills and values improve. A card thus gains more and more value over time. Decisive for victory is not only the real performance of the player, but also the value of the card used.

Tournaments, divisions and team composition

Tournaments are held every two weeks. In these tournaments you can win new cards and also Ether (ETH). There are no entry fees, anyone can enter as long as they have the right cards. Tournaments are available in several categories, including:

  • Global All Star
  • Global Under 23
  • Asia
  • Europe Challenger
  • Europe Champion
  • European Championship 2021
  • America
  • Copa Amnerica
  • World Cup Qualifiers UEFA
  • World Cup Qualifiers CONCACAF
  • World Cup Qualifiers South America
  • World Cup Qualifiers CAF
  • World Cup Qualifiers AFC

Over time, more and more tournaments are added. These are then further divided into different divisions depending on the player’s ranking and the rarity of their cards. Teams consist of a total of 5 cards. Professional footballers take on five roles:

  • Goalkeeper
  • Defender
  • Midfielder
  • Forward
  • Outfielder

The card and the footballer determine which roles they can take. Apart from that, the cards also contain some basic features about the respective players.

Play to Earn – What there is to win

By placing themselves at the top of the leaderboard, managers can additionally win something. Not only do they get rarer cards that allow them to play in higher leagues. The cryptocurrency Ether also beckons as a prize. Managers who did not make it to the first place can also win some Ether. The decisive factor is ultimately the score, which is made up of the player’s skill and the scoring of the cards. The prizes are mostly from 0.250 Ether to 0.01 Ether for the lower ranks.

What is "Play to Earn"?

"Play to Earn" is the name of the game principle where you can earn real money while playing. Various blockchain games make it possible. Items, characters and other goods can be obtained in the game. In the marketplace, these can be sold for cryptocurrencies (mostly Ethereum). These ETH can then be exchanged for real money on an exchange. List of the 10 best play-to-earn games

How official football clubs get involved

Sorare can’t use the names and images of contracted players for its NFT Game without permission. The company behind the game enters into official partnerships with the clubs. And there are more and more as time goes on. By now, 200 clubs are licensed and make their players available. These include weighty names like Real Madrid CF, Paris Saint-Germain FC, AC Milan, Liverpool FC, 1. FC Köln, FC Bayern München, FC Barcelona and many smaller clubs.

Sorare – The company behind the game

Frenchmen Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort founded the platform in September 2018. Nicolas Julia (CEO) previously worked as VP Operations at blockchain company Stratum. Adrien Montfort also worked there as VP Engineering. Initially, the project was based on Loom. Sorare was able to enter into its first partnership with the Belgian Football League in October 2018. The company raised €500,000 in a funding round in May 2019.

In April 2020, the switch to the Ethereum blockchain took place. The expectation is that this will enable better use of Layer 2 solutions and improve scalability. Another funding round in July flushed $4 million into the coffers. The Series A funding round raised another $50 million in February 2021, and the $680 million Series B in September of the same year represents the largest investment round to date.

Fans connect with players

The company said it took 17.5 million in revenue in October 2021. In an interview with GamesBeat, Thibaut Predhomme, Head of Operations, said that they will soon open offices in the US. According to him, it’s about “… building meaningful connections (to the fan, ed.) with the help of the cards. The special thing happens with the intersection of collecting fun and the sport. The game is based on the performance of the athletes in real life, and with the game, fans can connect with the players and what’s happening in real life.”

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What do you mean by Fantasy Sports?

Fantasy sports are virtual games in which fictitious players and teams compete against each other. This pastime is particularly popular in the USA and Canada. The performance of one’s own teams corresponds to the performance of real players.

Why is Sorare an NFT Game?

The digital maps at Sorare are all NFTs. This means that ownership can be clearly established. The cards belong solely to the owner, who can use them for games or trade them on the marketplace.

Is Sorare a play to earn game?

Managers can win ether at the tournaments. Furthermore, the cards can also be sold on the marketplace. Thus, it is theoretically possible to earn good money over time as well. However, success is not guaranteed.

Thomas Grether

Journalist | Editor | Entrepreneur & Environmental Scientist.
Main focus: Tokenization | Digital Transformation Processes in Companies | Internet and Web Publishing | Environment

Thomas Grether

Journalist | Redakteur | Unternehmer & Umweltwissenschaftler
Schwerpunkte: Tokenisierung | Digitale Transformationsprozesse in Firmen | Internet und Webpublishing | Umwelt